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Record 109° El Paso high: Cooling centers, safety tips, free fans

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso officially reached 109 degrees on Sunday to set a new record and become the warmest day of the year thus far.

ABC-7's StormTrack Weather team forecast more heat for Monday, with high temperatures expected to reach the triple-digits yet again.

The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department is continuing to operate free Cooling Centers that are located at the following sites:

  • Galatzan Rec Center, 650 Wallenberg Dr.
  • Veterans Rec Center, 5301 Salem Dr.
  • Chamizal Rec Center, 2101 Cypress Ave.
  • Gary Del Palacio Rec Center, 3001 Parkwood St.
  • Memorial Park Senior Center, 1800 Byron St.
  • Valle Bajo Community Center, 7380 Alameda Ave.
  • Marty Robbins Rec Center, 11620 Vista del Sol Dr.

The cooling centers, where the use of face masks is strongly encouraged, are open on the following schedules:

  • Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

In addition, the El Paso Department of Public Health and the El Paso Fire Department urged all Borderland residents, and particularly the elderly and others who may be especially vulnerable, to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses that can become all too common under such conditions.

Officials said to be aware of the following symptoms that are signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Heat exhaustion symptoms
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness, headaches and fainting
  • Heavy sweating, cold, pale and clammy skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fast or weak pulse

Experts also advised taking the following steps to avoid heat sickness...

  • drink plenty of non-sugared and non-alcoholic fluids
  • protect yourself with a wide-brimmed, loose-fitting hat that allows for ventilation and protects from the sun
  • stay in air-conditioned places when possible
  • reduce exercise during periods of high temperatures
  • use sunscreen
  • wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light colored clothing

And authorities advised not to forget about taking care of pets, they get hot too...

  • make sure your pet is tested for heartworm
  • provide proper shade
  • give them plenty of fresh, clean water in a shaded area
  • never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle
  • do not walk your dog in extreme heat as their sensitive paw pads can burn

El Paso's Extreme Weather Task Force is accepting fan donations which it said could be dropped off at any El Paso or Horizon fire department stations. Those who need a fan can dial 2-1-1 to find out if you are eligible and get details on how to receive a free fan.

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Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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